Five Quick Kimchis to Keep in Your Fridge. Always.

A common perception is that kimchi refers to the spicy pickled cabbage you find anywhere grape jelly, Coke Zero and sriracha are sold, which is basically every store these days. Indeed, napa cabbage kimchi is one of the most popular types, and you will find our recipe on page 41. But really, kimchi is simply a pickling technique, not a single item. Many things, like cucumbers, chives and apples, can also be kimchi’d. The recipe we offer here is a good place to start; it’s a flavorful kimchi base that can be used to pickle a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, though five in particular pop into our heads. Note: All of the kimchi recipes pair well with the Spicy Pork Spare Ribs.  Find the recipe here.

 

Make the Kimchi Marinade 
This is what gives the kimchi its guts: a blend of sweetness, heat and brininess. Using a quality fish sauce is important, so we prefer to spend a little bit extra on a smaller-batch Vietnamese brand called Red Boat. MAKES ENOUGH MARINADE FOR 1 POUND OF VEGETABLES

½ cup peeled, cored and chopped Asian pear
½ cup coarsely ground gochugaru
¼ cup fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons minced ginger

Add the pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, sugar and ginger to a food processor and run until smooth.

 

Make the Cure Mix 
This simple cure is used to draw out extra liquid and add additional seasoning. MAKES 6 TABLESPOONS

3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and salt.

NOW YOU ARE READY TO KIMCHI!

 

PERSIAN CUCUMBERS
Persian cucumbers are easily found and incredibly refreshing, which is why they’re a banchan fixture. You can also substitute kirby or English varieties; just make sure you drain the excess liquid before adding the Kimchi Marinade.

1 pound Persian cucumbers, sliced ¼ inch thick

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the cucumber and 1 tablespoon of the Cure Mix; let sit 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the Kimchi Marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated.

 

DAIKON RADISH
Daikon radish is another common kimchi, which soaks up the marinade phenomenally well and remains addictively crisp for a few days.

4 pounds daikon radish, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the daikon and 4 tablespoons of the Cure Mix; let sit 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the Kimchi Marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 2 weeks, refrigerated, but is at its crispest within a few days.

 

GARLIC CHIVE OR SPRING ONION
One of our all time favorites is garlic chives, which are different than regular chives and can be found at most Asian grocery stores. Garlic chives are longer and have flatter leaves. The flavor is more mild and slightly sweet. You can also use spring onions or—hell we’re going to say it—ramps.

1 pound garlic chives or spring onions, cut into 2-inch batons

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the chives and 1 cup of the Kimchi Marinade. Refrigerate for 1 day. This kimchi will keep up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

 

BOK CHOY
Bok choy is a nice substitution for napa cabbage. It’s neutral and absorbs the Kimchi Marinade really well while preserving a bit of crunch. It also looks really cool in the jar and on the plate.

1 pound baby bok choy, washed thoroughly, trimmed and cut in half

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the baby bok choy and 2 tablespoons of the Cure Mix; let sit 15 minutes. Drain the excess liquid, then add 1 cup of the Kimchi Marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for 2 days. This kimchi will keep 1 week, refrigerated.

 

PINEAPPLE
Pineapple is our own invention, and we just have to pat ourselves on the back a little bit for it. When we first made it in the test kitchen, we couldn’t stop eating it—with all its sweetness and acid and spice and tang and funk. It goes incredibly well with grilled meat, on a taco or with a bowl of ramyun. And in general, if you have any leftover marinade, dig through your refrigerator to see what else can be kimchi’d.

1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large pickling jar or lidded container, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of the Kimchi Marinade, stirring to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This kimchi will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated—but honestly, it’s not going to last that long.

 

 

Adapted from KOREATOWN by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. © Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard 2016. A Clarkson Potter Book, The Crown Publishing Group.

 


Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


[email_signup id="5"]
[email_signup id="5"]